Sunday, December 8, 2013

Working with Smashwords

Probably most writers know this, but in case there are others, learning their way...

When I published Freedom Does Matter in September, I only uploaded an epub. I hadn't read the (not so) fine print... and didn't until last week. The fine print that says if you upload your own epub, that's all that will be available.

Specifically, no samples would be available.

There have been page views of the Freedom Does Matter page, but (obviously), no sample downloads. And no purchases, either, which makes sense; my two friends use Kindles! I hasten to add that the sample is available at Amazon, and sales have been... slow, so perhaps the story isn't as engaging as I hoped. However, Amazon doesn't provide any data on page views (I know; I asked and was politely told they'd consider giving that info up in future.) or on numbers of samples downloaded (if any), so it's hard to judge if potential customers are not visiting, are turned off by the cover image, or are turned off by the sample... Or just think the price is wrong.

In any event, this post is about Smashwords. I created a .doc file and put it through the process, keeping the epub that I uploaded, but generating all the other formats. That was yesterday, and today, according to SW statistics, the only apparent visitor downloaded the sample. So, maybe...

No matter, the upshot is, even if you want control over the look of the epub distributed by Smashwords -- sold by them, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and the host of other retailers you might opt in for -- do the work to create a MeatGrinder ready Word file, and upload it as well.

At least, the sample will then be available.

Comments welcome, unless it's just to say "read the rules!"


  1. Sales are a mystery. Promoting and marketing is critical. Then little things can matter. Books which are in a smaller genre category can help you rise in the ranks better. Genre ambiguous books are harder to sell. (I know this personally)

    And getting through your captcha filter is really hard.

    1. Thanks for fighting through. I wish I had some control over the capchas. To think some company's making money off it...

      Genre ambiguous, huh? Can I use that as an excuse? No, didn't think so.